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Taliban university ban for women ‘grave step backwards’: UK PM Sunak


LONDON: British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Wednesday criticized the Taliban‘s decision to ban University education for girls, saying “denying them access to university is a grave step backwards.”
“As a father to daughters, I cannot imagine a world in which they’re denied an education. The women of Afghanistan have so much to offer. Denying them access to university is a grave step backwards. The world is watching. We will judge the Taliban by their actions,” Sunak tweeted.
On Tuesday, the Ministry of Higher Education of Afghanistan, which is ruled by the Taliban, prohibited girls from attending universities and other higher education institutions. This comes as secondary education for girls has been prohibited in Afghanistan since September 2021.
After the Islamic outfit announced the ban, the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed concern about the news reports. He said that the denial of education violates the equal rights of women and girls and will have a devastating impact on the country’s future.
UN Secretary-General also urged the de facto authorities to ensure equal access to education at all levels for women and girls.
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock today said the Taliban decided to destroy their own country’s future by destroying the future of girls and women in Afghanistan. She added that Germany will put the issue on the agenda of the G7.
“I will put the issue on the agenda of the G7 tomorrow. The Taliban may try to make women invisible, but won’t succeed – the world is watching,” Baerbock tweeted.
The Taliban took over Afghanistan in August 2021 and imposed policies severely restricting basic rights–particularly those of women and girls, according to Human Rights Watch (HRW).’
The Islamic group dismissed all women from leadership posts in the civil service and prohibited girls in most provinces from attending secondary school. Taliban decrees prohibit women from traveling unless accompanied by a male relative and require women’s faces be covered in public–including women TV newscasters.
According to a UNICEF report released in August, the fact that girls in Afghanistan are deprived of secondary education has cost the country’s economy at least $500 million over the past 12 months, which amounts to 2.5 per cent of GDP.
The report added that if three million girls had been able to finish their education and enter the workforce, they would have added at least $5.4 billion to Afghanistan’s economy.



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